I’ve fished the BTB Mako Rodeo in Brielle, New Jersey, for the past few years and I gotta be honest, at this point it’s probably like my fourth or fifth favorite day of the year. I have a couple annual dinners and stuff I do with my buddies from high school and college that are probably more fun, but other than those, the BTB might take the cake. Fourth or fifth best, that’s like, 98th percentile. I have it ahead of Christmas. Probably just behind the Fourth of July. Pretty good.
You know why it’s fun? Because every year I get up at 3 am and hop on my buddy Art DellaSalla’s Henriques, and I and a bunch of other guys that I really only see during the tournament chug out of the Manasquan Inlet in the black of night and go fight monsters. We drink some beers. We talk about things that would get me fired if I wrote them here. And we hook into some of the baddest fish in the ocean. And the best part is, they swarm the boat. They’re right there. You could reach out and touch them if you were dumb enough. It beats the hell out of sitting in front of a laptop all day.
Sometimes we catch makos. That’s awesome. But sometimes we only catch bait-stealing blue sharks. And that’s awesome too. Guys usually get sick during the day, due to a combination of drifting, the smell of chum, and a captain’s party the night before that historically gets pretty loose. That part is less awesome than catching sharks, but it’s all part of the experience.
The tourney takes place on June 14th and 15th at Hoffman’s Marina in Brielle. A large part of the proceeds goes to different charities since the tournament is a memorial event for Brett T. Bailey, who died in The Towers on 9/11. All the information you need is on their Web site (http://btbmakorodeo.com/). If you want some deeper thoughts on the whole thing you can read my article about the tourney here ➤. Give the BTB a shot this year. It’s good times for a good cause. I guarantee you’ll like it.